Saturday, April 11, 2009

Turkey - person, place or thing?

Turkey the person - that would be me. Turkey the thing - that would be the two turkeys I thought I was getting a great deal on.

It's Easter, and turkey was on sale for $1.79/lb. I figured there would be less waste (i.e. a higher meat-to-bone ratio) in a turkey than a chicken, and at that price, I'd be getting a good deal. Additionally, turkey would add a bit of variety to Kip's diet, always a good thing.

Let me stop for a moment and review some things. I want to stay at ~10% bone, averaged over a few meals. Chicken can range from 20% (breasts) to over 40% (wings and back) bone, and even averaged over time, any meal with 40% bone is not a good one, in my opinion. Kip eats around 1/2 a pound a day, and I try to portion that into 2 meals. So, 4 oz. of chicken breast (20% bone) can be followed by one 4 oz. meat-only meal, while 4 oz. of chicken leg can be followed by 2 meat-only meals. As a rule-of-thumb, boneless meat is more expensive to buy, so it's a balance between buying cheaper meats with bones and buying enough boneless meat to average out the total bone amount. Clear??

After portioning, I decided to take the breast meat off and feed as boneless, and to discard the rest of the rib/breast/back bones - they just appeared much too bony for my liking. Maybe it was just the way I portioned the turkeys, but when I looked at the back and breast sections, once the breast meat was removed, I saw a lot of bone, a lot of skin, a lot of fat - and very little meat. (They went into the stock pot to make turkey soup for me, so they weren't a complete loss).

So, at $1.79 a pound, I ended up with 22 days worth of food (44 portions) out of two rather small turkeys, at a final cost of $1.66 per day. That is by far the most expensive meat I've bought to date, when calculated by portion rather than by pound. To put that into perspective, I also bought 3 beef roasts at $1.99/lb, that worked out to $1.11/day - not bad for beef!

Now, if you had a larger dog that ate more than 1/2 pound a day, then whole turkeys (and whole chickens) might be a better deal, as the portions can be adjusted to have a better meat/bone ratio. But for me, from now on, unless whole poultry is really cheap, I'll stick to the legs I can by for $1.47/pound - they work out to be a much better deal, even though I'm not getting the breast meat.

And Turkey the place? It's just there to make the title flow better :)

No comments:

Post a Comment